• Stuart Daddo-Langlois

Done right first time?

More than a decade ago, before I left Perth in Western Australia, I started a project to landscape our back yard. We discovered the yard fences were asbestos cement and so needed special handling. After obtaining a quote over the phone for $30 per linear metre I was subsequently shocked to be told on the first day of the removal that the cost was $100 per linear metre and that this was “the last domestic job” this contractor was undertaking, so I could “take it or leave it.”

By law, special handling is wrapping the fence panels in plastic sheeting and disposing of them at an approved facility. Personnel are supposed to wear appropriate protective clothing. In this case the guys turned up in their short and tee shirts, lifted the panels and threw them into the back of the ten-tonne truck.

I was deceived over the phone and then threatened with having the waste dumped on my front drive if I didn’t pay up. Like a fool I paid the money instead of standing my ground. Imagine my increased level of disgust when I found the contractor had used the same tactics on a friend three months later. In all likelihood, this was his standard sales tactic breaching multiple consumer and trade practice laws, but like most consumers, I was ignorant of my rights and simply didn’t know who to turn to for advice.

As a consumer all I wanted was to be able to get a correct price for the job up front with a defined scope of work that I could accept or reject at my choice. If I accepted the quote, then I expected the job to be completed in a reasonable timescale, on budget and in accordance to local, state and federal regulations.

Is this too much to ask? Apparently, yes.

OK so some aspects of the construction industry are poorly regulated or worse, poorly policed and in a market segment like this, where there are too few contractors and too many jobs, cowboy operators flourish.

What consumers want is to be able to get a job done for a fair price, not have to clean up the mess afterwards and to feel like they received value for money.

For organizations serious about customer service based on subcontractor capability, there are a number of fairly major concerns that need to be addressed. Failure to do so inevitably leads to customer satisfaction issues and ultimately brand damage.

1. Price. The customer wants to know, at least within 10%, what the price of the service will be.

2. Value for money. Don’t rip off the customer.

3. Timescales. When will the service be delivered? What if arrangements change?

4. Scope. What is the scope of work to be done? In most cases this is really a “just get it done right” understanding.

5. Trust. Will the job be done properly? No cowboy contractors – certification and compliance are key.

6. Recourse. If the job isn’t done properly, who fixes it and how is it paid for?

7. Feedback. The customer wants an avenue to make their feelings known both the good and the bad. Equally, the tradie has a right to feedback if the customer is aggressive or rude.

Delivering all this in a streamlined, repeatable and auditable manner is challenging but fortunately this is exactly what Beehiive Software platform was developed to do. Organizations need only determine the scope and price of a service – one that is a fair market price and that will encourage subcontractors to want to deliver it and that customers will be willing to pay for. Then leave everything else to Beehiive.

Result? Done right first time, every time

#subcontractors #customerservicemanagement #processautomation

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